2014 World Cup: Ghana coach defends decision to start Daniel Opare over Harrison Afful in USA defeat
By Ameenu Shardow
Follow on Twitter @alooameenu
Courtesy African Origin Travel and Sports Tourism
Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah says Daniel Opare showed better form in training to merit a starting place in the 2-1 defeat to USA over Harrison Afful in their opening group game at the 2014 World Cup.
The Black Stars trainer opted to field Kwadwo Asamoah in an unusual left-back position while Opare played on the opposite defensive flank with Harrison Afful – an expert lateral defender – dropped to the bench for the entire game.
Opare has come in for a lot of bashing following the defeat to the USA as he was deemed ineffective on the day with most of crosses failing to meet the intended targets.
Kwesi Appiah has also come in for his fair share of criticisms following the defeat on Monday night – particularly for his decision to play Opare ahead of Harrison Afful.
But the Black Stars coach explains the Standard Liege right-back showed good form in training to merit the start.
“During the training sessions Daniel Opare was the one that we’ve been using,” he said.
“He had a muscle problem so we rested him for the friendly game against South Korea but since then he has been training well.
“I believe he was in better shape than Harrison and that is why I decided to start him.”
Ghana now faces an early exit from the competition and must now get results against Germany and Portugal in order to survive Group G.
The Black Stars have now shifted their focus to the game against three-time winners Germany on Saturday in Fortaleza.